A Nice Christmas

Christmas in the French Riviera.

How Nice!

Not even a little play on words can describe the relaxing Christmas vacation in Côte d’Azur. 

My second visit to the region was more about relaxation than it was exploring. 

I decided to spend Christmas in Côte d’Azur because I didn’t want to spend it in the USA. Plus, I wanted to visit Christmas markets in different European cities. 


Finding flights to Nice Côte d’Azur Airport wasn’t difficult. The flight to Nice was calm and stress-free. 

The hiccup came when my pre-paid taxi didn’t arrive on time. My driver was polite and texted me about the delay, so communication wasn’t an issue. 

What upset me was the annoying tour guide from another company pestering me about getting a taxi since she knew every hotel. Told her my taxi was on the way, but she wouldn’t stop pestering me.

Normally, I keep my cool and keep saying thank you. However, her constant pestering made me tell her politely but firmly asked her to leave me alone. 


This was my second stay at Le Club Mougins and it was just as enjoyable as my first stay in 2019. 

Customer service was excellent. My one-bedroom apartment was cozy throughout my week-long stay. The furniture is a little rundown and would benefit from a renovation.

However, the resort was nice and quiet. The grocery market was a three minute walk from the hotel. Customer service provided a nice trolley so I didn’t have to carry my groceries back up the hill.   

Public transport was easy to navigate. A bus to Cannes took about 30 minutes, but from there it was 30 minutes to Nice, or 1 hour to Monaco by train.


I spent the first two days wandering Cannes shopping for Christmas gifts. I did the tourist sightseeing on my first visit, so I wasn’t interested in attractions like Notre-Dame-de-l’Espérance or Palais des Festivals et des Congrès

Nope, I came for the Christmas Market. What an exciting experience.

Construction in the city required the ‘Christmas village’ to stretch along Les Allees and along Rue Jean Jaures.

The ice rink costs €3, including boot rental, but I can barely walk on concrete, so I keep this tradition. However, I did ‘donate’ €15 for a group of school-age children to enjoy the ice rink. It was the season for giving, right?


The Maison Astoux & Brun is renowned on the Cannes coast. I decided to enjoy the lovely view over a nice lunch.

Overall, a very average dining experience. The mussels were edible, but had no flavor. The fries were crisp and had a bit of seasoning. The best thing I had was the Coca-Cola. 

Mussels with fries and Coca-Cola

The price was what I expected to pay, but also expected a more memorable dining experience. However, the touristy atmosphere of the place could account for a lack of authenticity. 

Service was okay, but lacked focus. It took way too long for my check to arrive, and even then the wait staff made me feel like I was annoying them by asking for the check. Next time I won’t and I’ll just leave.


Awe Nice. A balanced mixture of modern sophistication with old-world opulence.

Nice Christmas Market
Nice Christmas Market

The stunning seaside location welcomed me with open arms during its Christmas celebration. I journeyed from Mougins (via Cannes) to Nice la Belle seeking last-minute Christmas gifts. 

I was not disappointed.

The streets and stores were packed with people. I journeyed from store to store, finding unique trinkets for families and friends. 

Mostly, I enjoyed just strolling down the boardwalk and marveling at the Christmas markets.


Dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe Nice topped off my Nice shopping extravaganza. Standard HRC fare, but lovely view of the boardwalk. 

My Chicken Caesar Salad was nice and crisp, and the Twisted Mac, Chicken & Cheese was hot and cheesy. The Homemade Apple Cobbler wasn’t as good as the one I had in Venice, but it was nice and flavorful.


I spent Christmas Day at the resort feasting on crab and other seafood delights, whilst enjoying A Christmas Story

Relaxing on Christmas? What a novel concept!


I departed Nice the day after Christmas for London. It’s been a dream of mine to ring in the New Year in London. 

The Adventure Continues …

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